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Richard Diamond, Private Detective

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Richard Diamond, Private Detective


In 1945, Dick Powell portrayed Phillip Marlowe in the movie "Murder My Sweet" based on Raymond Chandler's novel "Farewell My Lovely". This was a radical departure in character for Mr. Powell from a Hollywood song and dance man to a hard-boiled detective. On June 11,1945, the Lux Radio Theater brought "Murder My Sweet" to radio, again with Dick Powell in the lead. These two performances prompted his selection for the part of Richard Rogue, in Rogue’s Gallery after his role for Lux Radio Theater and Richard Diamond came four years later.

Richard Diamond, Private Detective came to NBC in 1949. Diamond was a slick, sophisticated detective, with a sharp tongue for folks who needed it. Diamond enjoyed the detective life, but not as much as entertaining his girl, Helen Asher. After each show, he would croon a number to his Park Avenue sweetheart. Mr. Powell, a former song and dance man, was perfect for the role. He added an extra dimension to the 40's hokey private eye drama.

Diamond was a rough gumshoe that would often get knocked on the head with a revolver butt or other items. His counterpart on the police force was Lt. Levinson who often accepted Diamond's help reluctantly. Levinson would claim to get stomach trouble whenever Diamond would call him and would take bicarbonate to settle his aching stomach. Although they always seem at odds with each other, Diamond and Levinson were best friends.

The plot theme remained fairly constant throughout the entire run of the show, Diamond getting beat up and solving a tough murder case with the support of the police department. Remarkably, for all the gun fights, Diamond never got shot. And for all his bravado, he had a serious case of vertigo.

Helen Asher was portrayed by Virginia Gregg, who also played the part of Brooksie on Let George Do It and Betty Lewis on Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. Blake Edwards wrote the early shows and also directed a few. Music was composed by David Baskerville and later by Frank Wirth.

In January of 1951, the series moved to ABC under the full sponsorship of Camel cigarettes. Then in May of 1953, the series moved to CBS but all shows were repeats from the 1950-51 Rexall sponsored season on NBC.

Richard Diamond was one of the radio shows which successfully moved to television with David Janssen, later of The Fugitive fame, in the title role of Richard Diamond. The opening scene of the television show often featured the long lovely legs of Mary Tyler Moore, who went on to fame in The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary was replaced on the Richard Diamond show when it became known that she owned the mystery legs.

OTRR Certification Information:

Series Name: Richard Diamond, Private Detective
Certification Status: OTRR Certified Accurate
Certification Date: May 26, 2007
Certification Version: Version 2b(July 22, 2008)
Number of CDs: 5

NOTE: Updated Release!

From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.



This is a production of the Old Time Radio Researchers Group located at Old Time Radio Researchers Website and the Old Time Radio Researchers Group.

It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.

If you are interested in preserving old time radio, you may wish to join the Old Time Radio Researchers Group at Yahoo.

Relax, listen, and enjoy!

OTRR Definitions:

OTRR Certified Accurate -- A series that is Certified Accurate indicates that all the episodes are properly identified and labeled but that the series does not contain all known extant episodes.

OTRR Certified Complete -- A series that is Certified Complete is the highest level of certification available under the OTRR Certified Standards. This certification level implies that all the files in the series are Certified Accurate but also indicates that the series is as complete as possible – it includes all extant episodes.


Reviewer: Department S - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 8, 2014
Subject: GREAT
I am a recent listener to Dick Powell as Richard Diamond and the humour that is dryly slipped into the dialogue, is done really well. Dick Powell was approached to do a TV series, he felt he was too old but recommended a young actor named David Janssen. It was OK but there was no humour to it and the Captain and the Sergeant weren't the same as the radio. Dick Powell was a brilliant in any role he played and I can recommend Johnny O'Clock 1947 film.

I can't think of anything so entertaining on radio and I am constantly whistling the theme tune, by Dick Powell of course.
Reviewer: Cedric35 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 20, 2014
Subject: Interesting Program, Superb Quality
When I first heard that Richard Powell made a point of singing in each episode I thought it sounded a bit hokey, but it seems to fit in well and doesn't seem shoehorned in, as I feared it might.

What really prompted me to review the series was the quality of these recordings. I think that are the finest examples of OTR I've ever heard. There is not one iota of static or hiss. The voices are full and rich. Kudos to those who worked on this series!
Reviewer: larry76 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 22, 2013
Subject: My favorite
Richard Diamond , Private Detective is one of the best radio
shows of its time.
I have spent many afternoons sitting on my back porch listening to this program. They are clever and so much fun.
Dick Powell was one of my favorite actors, and he made
these programs . I really miss this type of writing in today's
" no diallogue, special effects " world.
I thank every time I listen to these radio shows.
Reviewer: ennia - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 6, 2013
Subject: Great characters
It's not exactly politically correct (lots of sexist comments from Richard about his girlfriend Helen), but if you can overlook that, this is a great detective show -- interesting stories, funny, and excellent characterization.
Reviewer: loveoldaudio - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 15, 2013
Subject: Who can make a detective show sing?
Dick Powell can, that's who. The '30s and '40s were replete with singing cowboys, but this was the only singing, romancing detective.
Much more down-to-earth than Sherlock Holmes, willing to use a gun (unlike the Shadow,) also much more of a flirt than the Shadow was-with or without Helen being on the scene.
The alltime best episode is "The $200,000 Bundle," closely followed by their 1940s version of "A christmas Carol," and a show about a kidnapped seal. not a Navy seal, a seal that barks like Jimmy connors used to.
There are more good episodes here than I could name. Top shelf stuff. OTRR has done it again.
Reviewer: Max Reiner - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 30, 2012
Subject: Lighthearted, Improbable, Entertaining.
Sure like Dick Powell's wisecracking. Plots were improbable. Sure liked his singing at the end of the shows, too. He had a great voice and delivered the script characterization perfectly. But hey, if any of us got hit on the head as often as he did, we'd have concussions. :) Also like the way the announcer broke up at the close of the program to whatever they were doing in the studio. Sometimes the whole cast broke up at the program close.
Reviewer: justaskmike - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 17, 2010
Subject: I met Pamela Powell
Some years ago, I was a bureau correspondent for the Manchester NH Sunday News. Pamela Powell, daughter of Dick Powell and June Allyson, was making a speech at a nearby college. I was the only man there and the youngest person, since the rest were older women who wanted to talk about Dick Powell's old movies with Ruby Keeler. I happened to mention that I recall listening to Powell as Richard Diamond. Ms. Powell, who looked like a young June Allyson, smiled and replied, "You don't look that old." Actually, this was in 1973, I was 30, and the program had gone off the air twenty years before.
Reviewer: BradGleePiano - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 25, 2010
Subject: meeting BLAKE EDWARDS
It was my great good fortune to work briefly with Blake Edwards, and his wife Julie Andrews on a reading of a musical a couple years back (it is as yet unproduced). As many of you know, when he was quite young, Blake created the series with Dick Powell, and wrote and/or directed most of the episodes. We discussed RICHARD DIAMOND, and he told me he hadn't heard the episodes in upwards over a half-century, close to 60 years for the early episodes, though he had many scripts. I'm a big fan of the show, and had been collecting episodes onlne for a couple of years, so I was able to give him dozens of episodes on MP3 CD's, and I swear it brought tears to the mighty man's eyes. He let me come by his house and read scripts. Around the same time, Julie was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the original TV broadcast of CINDERELLA, another TV/Radio milestone...
Reviewer: Shadows_Girl - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 3, 2009
Subject: A Diamond in the Rough?
Well, what can I say about this show? Dick Powell is amazing as Richard Diamond (he was every bit as good as Philip Marlowe in the movie "Murder, My Sweet" which he did all over again for the Lux Radio Theater and I THINK that is available here in the archives too. If not, I'll upload it one of these days.

Of course, Richard Diamond later came to TV with David Janssen (yeah, that guy from the Fugitive) taking over the part of Diamond. (He was hand-picked by Dick Powell for the role, incidentally). The TV show managed to keep the humor and the high quality writing of the radio program although the "loud whistling" and the song at the end were lost.

Personally, I've always enjoyed Dick Powell's singing and I was glad he added that to the radio show since he had quit doing musical comedies some years earlier (that was how he started---then came "Murder, My Sweet" and Dick Powell demonstrated he could out tough-guy the tough-guys. I give this program my highest rating!

One reviewr here comments that :it is a pity Powell didn't live longer". He outlived Bogart. Powell died in 1963---Bogie in 1957. Powell was just interested in other things than acting (or singing) like producing and directing. Incidentally he was one of many who died of cancer as a result of the film THE CONQUEROR (which he directed) and which was filmed in St George, Utah---directly downwind from the above ground atomic bomb testing that was going on. In addition to Powell, 46 others have died of cancer who were involved with the movie including John Wayne, Agnes Moorehead, and Susan Hayward. For more visit
Reviewer: Tarawa - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 21, 2008
Subject: Richard Diamond - Richard Powell
This is without any doubt one of the three best Detective shows on EITHER Radio or TV; The other two were Adventures of Phillip Marlowe (With Gerald Mohr) and Yours Truly Johnny Dollar (with Bob Bailey & others).
Indeed Powell found a comfortable role in Richard Diamond and it is regrettable that he didn't live longer and become a greater film noir star than Humphrey Bogart.
Reviewer: SWV - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 2, 2008
Subject: Simply Fantastic
Has everything you could ask for in a detective serial.
Reviewer: bob72 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 15, 2007
Reviewer: FJ Klein - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 31, 2007
Subject: Richard Diamond is a Jewel!
Sorry about the pun, but....

This collection is superb.

The audio fidelity is good to excellent.

The extra features in the The Old Time Radio Researchers Group archive files include: Biographies, publicity shots, and actual scripts of the broadcasts with on-air notes!

This series has great dialogue, humor, sound effects, music and (believe it or not) closing songs by crooner Powell.

Highly recommended!
Reviewer: twseid - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 7, 2007
Subject: Great Entertainment
This series seemed to have a winning combination. There's humor, wittiness, adventure, mystery -- and of course the music. I could do without the loud whistling at the beginning of the shows and don't really care much for the song Richard Diamond sings at the end of each show. But he does a good job and the song is woven nicely into the story. All of the regular actors do a great job with their characters. Blake Edwards knew how to write well-balanced scripts and how to come up with interesting plots. I've really enjoyed listening to the series (though some shows get repeated in later years).
Reviewer: BillyR - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2007
Subject: A Great Series
The mixture of wit, humor, and mystery is pure entertainment. As a child I remember my mother listening to this radio programming. Now much older, I see why.
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